[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

Moshe Shulman mshulman at ix.netcom.com
Mon Dec 24 15:25:23 EST 2007

At 12:33 PM 12/24/2007, you wrote:
>It has been a long time since I have actually indulged in a serious
>discussion of Wellhausen's theories. So, I am probably too dated to
>contribute to this discussion. However, I would like to ask a question.
>How verifiable is this theory?  I have only read one study which
>attempted to prove the existence of distinct sources based on a computer
>analysis of stylistic differences in Genesis. That study was at best
>inconclusive. I can't say that I am surprised. I should think such a
>study might reveal the most blatant plagiarism but any storyteller
>adapting material from other sources would probably use the style he was
>most comfortable with rather than retaining the style of the original
>I guess I do have one additional question. Can anyone tell me if any
>modern studies have been done to prove the viability of identifying
>different source materials used to produce a story?

Verifiability is shown not of the text whose composition is unknown, 
but on known texts. One would need to have a program that worked in 
three cases: Genesis, text A of single authorship, text B with 
multiple authorships. I have never heard of anyone even considering 
doing  this type of test. The so-called 'Bible Codes' have a better 
test record.

Moshe Shulman   outreach at judaismsanswer.com 718-436-7705
Judaism's Answer:  http://www.judaismsanswer.com/

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